The past couple days have been crazy at Mitsubishi with executives possibly stepping down, the EPA ordering retest of vehicles, and the U.S. branch telling dealers there are no inconsistencies in the tests for the U.S. models. Let's get you up to date.
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) requested details from Mitsubishi on its U.S. vehicle lineup to check for discrepancies. The EPA also requested Mitsubishi to retest their U.S. lineup.
A day later, Japanese media reported that Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko and COO Tetsuro Aikawa would resign due to manipulation of fuel economy data. According to Reuters, Aikawa denied these reports.
"It's my responsibility and my mission to put the company on track to recovery. Beyond that, I haven't had a chance to even consider" the possibility of resigning, Aikawa said.
Reuters also reports that Mitsubishi Motors could be on the hook for almost $1 billion to compensate owners, pay back tax rebates from the government, and other payments. This is according to analysts at Nomura Holdings.
Yesterday, Mitsubishi Motors North America said they found no testing problems with vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2013 to now.
“Our findings confirm that fuel economy testing data for these U.S. market vehicles is accurate and complies with established EPA procedures,” Don Swearingen, COO of Mitsubishi Motors North America told dealers in a letter to dealers. The letter was obtained by Automotive News.
Press Release is on Page 2
Mitsubishi Motors North America Statement Regarding Fuel Consumption Testing Data
April 27, 2016
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Tokyo recently announced irregularities concerning fuel consumption testing data.
To confirm that U.S. market vehicles are not affected by this issue, Mitsubishi Motors R&D America, Inc., working together with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, proactively conducted an internal audit of U.S. market vehicles going back several model years to check previously submitted data to the EPA. After a thorough review of all 2013MY – 2017MY vehicles sold in the United States, we have determined that none of these vehicles are affected. Our findings confirm that fuel economy testing data for these U.S. market vehicles is accurate and complies with established EPA procedures.
An entirely different system is used for the United States market to determine what the EPA calls Road Load Coefficient, strictly adhering to EPA procedures. The data generated is then independently verified for its accuracy before being submitted to the EPA for their fuel economy testing. MMNA has shared this information with EPA, California Air Resources Board and DOT.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has acted quickly to address this issue and is putting in place a committee of external experts to thoroughly and objectively continue this investigation. The results of the investigation, once completed, will be made public.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is also working closely with the Japanese Government to fully review the implications of this issue, and to discuss potential resolutions.